Monthly Archives: February 2012

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Spring 2012 Photo Contest

Category : Student Spotlight

This semester’s blog competition will be a PHOTO CONTEST. Check out our facebook page for the latest entries. Submit as many photos as you like, but please send them in large format. Photos may be sent to or posted here on the blog. The winner will be announced May 2!

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Student Spotlight: Caroline Herman and Chloë Weeks

Category : Student Spotlight

Meet two friends from the East Coast who made the decision to spend a semester in Hawai‘i. Caroline Herman and Chloë Weeks share the same major, attend the same college, and enjoy participating in a range of sports, and now both are in Hawai‘i for an unforgettable semester. The memories of these next few months they will share forever!

Chloë and Caroline at the Chinatown New Year's Celebration


Brief bio

Caroline: I’m a geology major from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, and my hometown is Scarsdale, NY

Chloë: I’m also a geology major from Bryn Mawr, and my hometown is Tucson, Arizona

Favorite UH Class

Caroline: Oceanography 201. It’s unexpectedly interesting, and the professor makes it fun. We take self-guided field trips to different place on the island.

Chloë: Drawing, even though it is surprisingly difficult! I’m learning a lot of skills that will be useful when I have to sketch things from the field.

Fun Fact

Caroline: We’re on the field hockey team at Bryn Mawr. We’re 3rd string forwards but still get some playing time. It is also little known that in high school I was a speed walker and placed in the state championships.

Chloë: In high school I played volleyball, basketball, softball and ran track and field. Softball is my favorite sport, and pitcher is my favorite position.

Top accomplishment while in Hawai‘i

Caroline: Standing up on a surfboard!

Chloë: I’m kind of afraid of both the ocean and big creatures, but recently I went far out into Hanauma Bay to go snorkeling. And when I came across some sleeping sand sharks, I did not freak out! That is my top accomplishment in Hawai‘i, so far!

Greatest Adventure

Caroline: In high school I went on a month long sailing trip around the coast of Maine with “Outward Bound.” I spent every night on the boat except for the 3 days I spent completely alone on an island with only a bag of granola and my water bottle. I didn’t shower for entire month.

Chloë: My greatest adventure is a bit different! I spent Thanksgiving Break with my boyfriend in New York City. It was a great taste of adult life, being on our own.

Craziest Ambition

Caroline: I’ve run a few marathons, and my crazy goal is to be a member of the “50 States Marathon Club”.

Chloë: To name a dinosaur after me! Also, to run my first marathon in Pennsylvania.

First Job

Caroline: I was a camp counselor and taught sailing. It was the best summer ever!

Chloë: Well, my very first job was helping my dad in his cacti nursery when I was a little girl. We live on a cactus landscaping nursery, and my father is a botanist.

Favorite thing to do in Pennsylvania

Both: Explore Philadelphia, which has great museums and good food.

Favorite thing to do in Hawai‘i

Both: Go to the beach and snorkel. Hanauma Bay and Haleiwa on the North Shore are our favorite places so far.

Favorite Book

Caroline: Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

Chloë: The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

Favorite Movie

Caroline: Mean Girls

Chloë: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Grinch, and I love animated movies.

Favorite TV show

Caroline: Reality TV shows like, My Strange Addiction, Hoarders, and Extreme Couponing.

Chloë: Bones, Big Bang Theory, and True Blood.

The reality show I’d go on

Caroline: Considering the reality shows I watch, thankfully I’d never go on one!

Chloë: Ninja Warrior – even though I’m sure I wouldn’t get too far on the stunt courses.

Greatest vice

Caroline: Candy — chocolate, gummy Swedish fish, anything!

Chloë: Right now I’m in a Nutella phase, and I can’t get enough!

Favorite local food

Caroline: Fried mochi balls, but only if they are hot.

Chloë: Mochi of all types.

If I’m cooking we’re having

Caroline: Something that can be micro-waved.

Chloë: Anything! I’m a good cook.

Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition

Caroline: Giving leis. It’s not just a touristy thing but rather a genuine, sincere gift.

Chloë: The best fruit is grown on trees in people’s yards, and if you ask the owner nicely, they will let you take from the yard or pick from the tree.

What’s next?

Caroline: Return to Bryn Mawr and apply for grad school. I’d like to eventually get a PhD.

Chloë: Apply for summer research and grad schools. I’d like to get an advanced degree, maybe a PhD. My dream job would is to work in a geologically interesting field like Hawai‘i. Who knows, though.

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Student Spotlight: Rachel Behrend and Jason Kunen

Category : Student Spotlight

“I Wasn’t This Cool in High School!”

Finding one’s place in the world can sometimes take a while. But 2012 Spring Semester ASH students Rachel Behrend and Jason Kunen seem to have found their way. Both are thoughtful and serious students, dedicated to their education. Both have travelled to new places in search of adventure and inspiration, and both are committed to walking their own path. Spending A Semester in Hawai‘i at UHM is just one more adventure along the way!

Rachel and Jason

Brief Bio

Rachel: Biology major from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania; hometown is Bethesda, Maryland.

Jason: Philosophy major from Haverford College in Pennsylvania; hometown is Staten Island, NY.

Favorite UH Class

Rachel: Drawing. It’s relaxing and different from all my other science courses. The professor is good, too.

Jason: I love all my classes, but my favorite is Philosophy for Children, taught by Dr. Tom Jackson. I’m planning to use some of his ideas in my senior thesis next year.

Favorite Form of Social Media

Both: Facebook

Decisive Moment or Turning Point

Rachel: When I decided to wait a year to go to college. After high school I took a job to earn some money, and then I travelled to Mexico and Senegal. In Mexico I worked in a physical therapy unit, and in Senegal I accompanied and aided a health care worker who nursed street kids. These experiences gave me direction and helped me decide what to study. The year also gave me perspective on new places and cultures and on many things in general.

Jason: This past semester I travelled to Japan where I stayed in monasteries and studied meditation with Zen and Buddhist monks. After this trip I knew I wanted to go into philosophy and teach.

Greatest accomplishment

Rachel: When I was in Mexico, I wanted to go to an authentic “Day of the Dead” celebration in a remote area, but it was far away and I didn’t have any place to stay. There weren’t any hotel rooms. I went anyway! I had to take a bus and then a boat to get there, but it was worth the trouble. I stayed up all night, watched the events and enjoyed the festivities. The next day I took the boat back to where I was living.

Jason: During my stay in Japan we travelled by bus to the small town of Kamikatsu to experience “Cave Meditation.” We were given white robes and a walking stick for the trek to the cave opening. Once we got there, not everybody on the trip wanted to enter the cave! A guide took the rest of us inside. The meditation was following the guide’s exact maneuvering through the cave. If you didn’t follow the guide exactly you could get stuck! We held a candle the entire time, while climbing ladders, crawling on our knees, and squeezing through tight openings. In the center was a Buddhist statue. It was a great experience!

What’s Next?

Rachel: Senior year at Bryn Mawr and Senior Research in biology. After I graduate I’ll take a year or two to work and then probably go to graduate school.

Jason: This summer I’ll be a Resident Counselor and a meditation and martial arts instructor at a summer camp at Haverford. Next fall will be my senior year at Haverford, which means senior thesis and grad school applications.

Long-term goals

Rachel: To be a part of Doctors Without Borders

Jason: To teach philosophy

Favorite Hawai‘i tradition

Rachel: Women wearing flowers in their hair!

Jason: I like how things here are very similar to Japan, but everything is in English!

Favorite Hawai‘i place

Both: Hanauma Bay; the snorkeling and beach are very nice!

Favorite Local food

Rachel: Hawaiian barbecue – garlic ahi, chicken and Kalua pig. I also tried taro ice cream, which was really good.

Jason: All the authentic Japanese food and mochi ice cream.

A Favorite book

Rachel: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.

Jason: Journey to the West

A Favorite movie

Rachel: American Beauty

Jason: The Jason Bourne Trilogy

Favorite TV show

Rachel: The Wire

Jason: Burn Notice

If a movie were made about me, I’d want this actor to play me

Rachel: The cartoon character Pocahontas.

Jason: Jeffrey Donovan from Burn Notice. We have the same sunglasses!

If I’m cooking we’re having

Rachel: Something spicy.

Jason: Baked chicken cutlets.